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Hillbrook School is a private school of 14 acres located in east Los Gatos nestled in a residential neighborhood serving grades JK through 8. The school is interested in site improvements to help support various outdoor learning activities as well as playground upgrades. Possible activities for the outdoor leaning area are: a space for outdoor teaching, plant propagation activities, growing/tending to produce gardens, cleaning/preparation of produce, creating a habitat/pollinator garden, as well as exploring possibilities for rainwater/graywater harvesting opportunities. OJ-LA developed short learning exercises for the teachers which engage and involve the students in learning about regional context and site analysis specific to the project site.
The playground, serving JK through 2nd grade students, is currently underway. The process of visioning and layout has been a collaborate effort with MKThink Architects, who are providing a campus mas- ter plan for the school. To initiate the design, MKThink/OJ-LA developed design charrettes for the staff and students to understand and explore playground possibilities. Playground principals include providing nature in all aspects of play, flexible gathering spaces for outdoor teaching and activities, supporting gross motor skills with construction and discovery activities, and encouraging social interactions.